The cover attracted me. The title intrigued me. The preview on the back and the short synopsis in the front did neither, so I returned to judging a book by its cover and read it anyways.
Let's just say that the first chapter made up for all of that.
Evangeline Denmark has a rich and vivid imagination and she's been extraordinarily careful to write it all out in an engaging and capturing way. She embraces the steampunk subgenre of fiction, adding with it elements of dystopia and fantasy. Her words weave a complex world of horrible hierarchy, chemical alchemy, Chemists, Defenders, porcies, tocks, and all manner of steam-powered machines.
Curio begins in a city called Mercury, where the people are dependent on a Chemist potion for them to be able to digest any food; where restrictions are high, rules are severe, and the punishment for any broken law is ever more so. Every citizen battles with the struggle of conformity and submission to a cruel desire for power. And not even halfway through, our headstrong protagonist, Grey Haward, is thrown out of Mercury and into the strange realm of Curio City - run by machines, for machines, with only one other human in existence besides Grey herself. Evangeline makes Grey's world of starvation and punishment look so much cozier than their strange realm.
This book is perfect for your angsty teenager (which I can no longer claim to be, as of today) who loves a rush of adrenaline in the form of insurgents and self-sacrifice. Evangeline even throws in some sequences to satiate the romantics (this, I fear, is something I may never be free of, regardless of my number of birthdays). She spits out thrill rides and adrenaline on every page and her characters make you want to swoon, giggle, and tear your hair out all at once. Her energy is refreshing.
For more information on Curio by Evangeline Denmark, visit our website here.